The Los Angeles Unified School District has launched a formal investigation into the Narbonne football team after a former teacher at the high school filed a lawsuit claiming that football players were given preferential treatment and were even allowed to pay teachers to cut class, according to Law360.
Arthur Lopez, who taught at Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California since 1995 that he'd become irritated with the school's practice of allowing football players have their grades boosted, and allowing them to bribe their way out of class as well as covering up the students' "rampant violence, gambling and drug use."
According to the complaint, the “illegal conduct, inappropriate behavior and violations of District rules and practices" were repeatedly condoned by school officials to help benefit specific groups on campus, "particularly, the high school’s football team and coaches."
Administrators at the school would pressure Lopez and other teachers at the school to give the students "higher grades than a student earned" and would even transfer students to other teachers who were "more willing to cheat" if he refused. Players were also allowed to pay teachers to miss class.
Lopez claims that after he filed a complaint with the district, his bosses worked to discredit him and even asked parents for complaints. He also claims the administration also forced him to give up his baseball coaching gig at a local junior college.
"When Mr. Lopez complained, the administration at Narbonne High School retaliated to the point where he was displaced to a substitute teacher position, which negatively affected his salary, benefits and peace of mind," Foster told Law360. "The district needs to recognize that such retaliatory conduct will not be tolerated, compensate Mr. Lopez for the administration’s merciless treatment of him and restore Mr. Lopez to the full time teacher position he enjoyed for decades.”
The lawsuit claims Lopez filed a complaint with the district in March, but there was no word on whether anything came from it.
Lopez is suing the district for lost wages and damages.
A spokesman for LAUSD said they had not yet seen the complaint, but that they "take all personnel matters serious and take appropriate action to address them."
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